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Some floras indicate that the correct scientific name for the St. Johnswort Family is Hypericaceae, some Clusiaceae.

Hypericum scouleri.  (St. Johnswort)Synonym: Hypericum formosum. 
Hypericaceae (St. Johnswort Family)

Montane, subalpine. Wet areas. Summer.
Haviland Lake Trail, June 28, 2004.

This slim and unobtrusive plant, often hidden in the lushness of wet areas, is most easily found when it is in bloom, for the flowers are very bright. Leaves are short and opposite. The plant typically grows to be one to two feet tall.

This is a close relative of the noxious weed (and widely sold supplement which is a supposed mood enhancer), Hypericum perforatum, which has caused massive agricultural damage and in the past few decades has severely invaded Colorado. H. perforatum also has been the subject of a number of National Institutes of Health studies revealing its dangerous affects on human health.

Linnaeus gave the genus name "Hypericum" which is the ancient Greek name for the plant. It is a European invader in the United States. "Formosum" is Latin for "graceful, beautiful". 

The Hypericaceae family name was given by Jussieu in 1789; Clusiaceae was given by John Lindley in the 1800s. The specific epithet most commonly accepted is "scouleri", given by Hooker in 1831 from a specimen collected in 1825 by John Scouler (botanist, physician, and professor). Scouler found the plant, "Abundant on dry gravelly soils and limestone rocks on the North-West coast of America". (More biographical information about Scouler.)

Hypericum scouleri.  (St. Johnswort)Synonym: Hypericum formosum. 
Hypericaceae (St. Johnswort Family)

Montane, subalpine. Wet areas. Summer.
Haviland Lake Trail, June 28, 2004.

Numerous stamens are upright in freshly opened flowers but relax into a lovely starburst as the flower ages. 

Hypericum scouleri.  (St. Johnswort)Synonym: Hypericum formosum. 
Hypericaceae (St. Johnswort Family)

Montane, subalpine. Wet areas. Summer.
Haviland Lake Trail, June 28, 2004.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Hypericum scouleri